Statistics pertaining to mental health have been released by the University of Oxford as part of a Freedom of Information request. The headline findings are that the number of students seeking counselling has been rising over the past few years, with anxiety and depression the leading factors, while the University has spent over £1M on counselling in each of the last three years. Mental health problems have been a growing concern on campuses across the United Kingdom, with a crisis developing. Read on for the full story.
As mentioned, these statistics were released due to a freedom of information request. 1,372 undergraduate students used the University’s Counselling service in the 2016-17 academic year. While it should be noted that not every problem tackled was mental health-related, the majority were. In the 2015-16 academic year, 1,313 students used the counselling service. Again, this rose on the 2014-15 academic year figure – 1,214. Clearly, it is a stressful time to be an Undergraduate student in general, but especially for Oxford students, considering the workload.
So what were the issues tackled at these counselling sessions? The Association of University and College Counselling (AUCC) uses fifteen categories to define the problem. The statistics shown below cover three academic years – as shown by the header. Please note these statistics relate to both undergraduate and postgraduate students.
As you see, the vast majority of the categories have seen the number of students requiring help rise in the last few years. Anxiety has particularly increased. These worrying statistics clearly show the issues facing students. Pressure in the job market, mounting student debt and academic concerns are all problems that face students in the contemporary age. It is worth noting in relation to the table that students can sometimes report more than one issue – but only one has been considered in this table.
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Overall, there are some worrying statistics. Students all over the United Kingdom are struggling with mental health concerns, and it clearly affects some of the brightest young minds – students at Oxford. The University has spent over £1,000,000 in each of the last three years in running counselling services. It appears that the University has strong provisions to deal with any issues, which is positive.